Friday, June 25, 2010

The Monster Mash

Hey all,

So remember my post on dry spells? Heh. Well this correlates directly with the serial as I can't seem to write a word of the final installment! Argh! There, I said it. I'm blocked. But not to worry! I'm following Claire's steps to getting in the zone and I'm feeling pretty good about getting back on track. In the mean time...

I'll just post at random! :)

So, I made a little trip over to Absolute Write today. Nothing like a little procrastination with the morning coffee! There is a discussion going on over "monster-mashups". If you don't know what that is, we're talking about the new fad of taking classic novels and integrating paranormal monster stories into them. The first being that huge hit, Pride Prejudice and Zombies.

This is basically Pride and Prejudice with Elizabeth Bennet being a zombie slayer on the side. Of course the book's creator got a huge advance, sold boatloads and garnered a movie option as well. And publishing being that wonderful bandwagon that it is, an explosion of subsequent monster mashups ensued, Jane Slayer, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Little Women and Werewolves...

Now a lot of writers take umbrage with this new trend. They see it as insulting. A gimmick. Someone has taken a story that is guaranteed to sell -since it's a classic and already has slews of fans- and simply added the modern fad of monster slaying, a la Buffy. Never mind that the original author's name is still on the title page, ensuring that these new books will pop up when a reader does a search for the classic... So sure the first time it was pretty brilliant, in an Andy Warhol sort of way. Pure marketing genius. But now? Enough already!

On the other hand, these books are obviously selling. Where's the harm if it makes everybody (from the writers, to the publishers, to the readers) happy?

I'll be honest, I haven't read one. I have no idea whether they are good books or not. But I can see the reason it's got so many writers disgruntled. It's hard enough to get published. And there are a lot of writers out there struggling to come up with original material. It seems almost a cheat for these mashups to get such success only by incorporating monsters into classics. But is it sour grapes? And is it really that simple? A good story is a good story. Right? Or wrong?

Are monster mashups really just fan fiction in disguise? And does it matter?

How do you all feel about monster mashups? Are you sick of seeing them? Do they insult your intelligence? Or is it all in the name of fun and these disgruntled writers should lighten up?

Inquiring minds...


  1. I'm going to stay neutral on this one, because they seem silly to me, and I haven't read any, but who knows? Maybe they're fun? If my TBR pile ever shrinks...

  2. I haven't read one, Kristen, so I'll reserve judgement until I do. But what I can say is that the cover of Sense and Sensibility ad Sea Monsters made my eldest son just about wet his pants with laughter in the book store when he saw it. (g)